What are “Green” Buildings?
July 28, 2019
Buildings and structures have a significant impact on the environment. Putting up a building or any other construction can consume considerable amounts of our natural resources. The buildings that you see in our cities and neighborhoods produce a significant proportion of carbon emissions and other wastes which harm our environment. Environmental experts project that if we continue with business as usual in the construction sector, the current greenhouse emissions will double by the year 2030.
So, what can we do?
Over the last few years, the majority of people in the construction industry have resulted in green building as a measure of combating the adverse effects of buildings on the environment. Green building refers to the practice of creating structures and use of processes and materials that are environmentally friendly and resource efficient. A ‘green building’ therefore refers to a building whose design, construction, and operation reduce or eliminates adverse impacts on the environment.
What are the features of a “green” building?
Green building incorporates a wide range of practices and techniques that help in reducing and ultimately eliminating the impact of the building on the environment and human health. Green buildings are designed to take advantage of natural resources such as the sun and minimize wastage of other resources such as water. Here are the main features of a green building.
If you take a look in your neighborhood, you will probably notice a new building coming up every other day. These buildings require enormous amounts of energy to keep them running. Soon enough, if we don’t turn to green building, we may not have enough energy to power our homes due to over-consumption.
Green building includes measures to reduce energy consumption. The buildings feature insulation walls, high-efficiency windows, and roofs that maximize solar gain in winter and minimize overheating in the summer. Also, green buildings may include onsite generation of power through biomass, wind power, solar power, and hydropower.
The demand for water is on the increase across the globe, and most of the available sources are drying up. So, there is a need to conserve every drop of water that comes our way. Green buildings take water conservation to another level by utilizing water conservation fixtures such as low-flow shower heads, ultra-low-flush toilets, and also putting up measures to re-use water onsite. The sustainable building also focuses on other techniques such as rainwater harvesting to supplement the normal water supply.
The green building focuses on utilizing materials from natural and renewable sources. The materials used for green building must be harvested and managed sustainably. Where possible, recycled materials such as reclaimed stone, recycled metal, and other non-toxic products can be used to reduce demand on virgin resources.
The concept of a green building does not only apply to new buildings. You can also make a few green changes on your home or any other existing building to achieve the goals of green building. These changes can help you to save money, cut down your energy usage, improve the indoor environment, and also make a positive impact on the environment.